I’m about to talk about advanced information that is not necessary for you to know in order to have a website with YLDist. If right now you’re wondering what a private domain name is, then this information probably won’t apply to you. Of course, there could be someone in your business team encouraging you to have a private domain name and in that case, read on.
First just a quick definition here, when I say website “URL”, I’m referring to the actual website address. These two terms are somewhat interchangeable and I will be calling your website address your URL.
Just to ensure I don’t confuse anyone here I want to make it clear that when you get your Young Living personal website from YLDist.com you get your own domain name that looks like this, for example, YLDist.com/MySite but for those of you who either already own a personal domain name or want to buy one, it would then be like this, for example, www.MySite.com
Doing a domain 301 redirect forward allows a person to type in your www.MySite.com and arrive at your YLDist.com/MySite website. Now all of this is standard stuff and very common but the part that is lesser understood is the “masking” element.
So What is Domain Name Masking?
Masking is a type of website URL cloaking or hiding. Basically it’s a way for a person to give their domain name, in our example, www.MySite.com, to someone and when they go to that URL they can’t tell it is actually YLDist.com/MySite.
If you’re thinking of masking your site’s URL – don’t. It just makes another website URL show in the address bar of the website – and it shows on EVERY single page, the same way. Masking a domain name is never recommended for a number of reasons, but especially if you want the page to be optimized for search engines.
Most the time the only reason one might want to cloak or hide the YLDist URL by masking would be because the person wants it to seem like they own a customized and private website. That is not a horrible thing to want to portray, but in network marketing it just isn’t needed. I wrote this article a few years back, but it certainly answers that question of why you would want to use a “replicated” website over a personal and custom one. Read more about that HERE, you just might be surprised by the reasoning.
Sometimes the masking is done by someone who setup your domain name to redirect to your YLDist website and you didn’t even know.
How to See if You Have Masking On for Your Domain
Here is how you can tell if you have masking turned on for your domain redirect. Just type in your website URL (the domain name you purchased) and look in the address bar. If you still see your own domain name, in our example, www.MySite.com instead of, in our example, yldist.com/MySite – then you have masking turned on. You should see, in our example, yldist.com/MySite.
Why is Masking Bad?
Masking your YLDist URL is very damaging in a lot of ways. This list is not all inclusive, but here are the top reasons you do NOT want to mask your YLDist domain name.
- Every page on your site will then have the same exact URL, (your domain name) – this seems very suspicious to prospects but causes even worse issues, as seen in the next point.
- With masking, individual links to pages within your site cannot be shared with someone else, for instance, your Seed to Seal page, because it will only share the main domain name, no matter what page you’re on. Same is to be said for bookmarking. It doesn’t work on a masked page. Any visitor who attempts to bookmark a masked page will end up bookmarking the homepage or the original domain name instead, and not the URL showing up in the browser address field. Since visitors usually like to have some form of control when browsing a site, this inability to bookmark a specific page gets minus points in terms of usability. If you have content that you would like your users to share and link back to, they are unable to because they do not have the actual URL for each page of your website.
- Masking completely confuses and damages your built-in SEO (search engine optimization and this is how you are found on Google searches). This is because with domain masking, search engines will detect two different domains having duplicate content, which is bad in the sense that it results in only one URL being indexed, and it just might not be the domain that you want. If this happens, then it’s a serious disadvantage.
- Masking prevents your site from displaying correctly on mobile devices, causing frustration to users on smartphones or tablets.
- You won’t be able to login to your dashboard from your masked domain name.
- If you mask your domain redirect, pages within your site will not display and work correctly, especially ones with sharing buttons etc.
- Masking causes your USA catalog to malfunction in odd ways, mostly in the searching capabilities.
I hope I have effectively conveyed to you the reasons you should never use masking when doing a domain 301 redirect. In reality is it something rarely used by legitimate website owners. When used, it is is usually to hide or cloak something.
At this time YLDist.com only supports domain forwarding. This means that you set it up with your domain provider for a “301 Redirect without masking” so that when they click on or type in your personal URL it routes them right to your YLDist website. We are currently working to develop a way that our customers can integrate their own URL, but until that is released, we highly recommend you don’t use masking. That would be like shooting your business in the foot.
How to Change the Settings on Your Domain Name to Turn Off Masking
This can be a bit tricky, depending on where you bought your domain name, who set it up and where the setting are for you to, basically, uncheck it. If you use GoDaddy, just give them a quick call and they will quickly help you locate that setting. If you bought your domain name from somewhere else, you might try Googling how to turn masking off on your domain name with “so and so company”. Or if all that fails, send us a support ticket and ask us to point you in the right direction. To reach out to us, just go to your own website, scroll to the very bottom and click on “contact YLDist”.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Spanning the past 30 years, Meshell Little has been very successful in network marketing. She has built several large and lasting organizations in MLM and has created success in others along the way. She has learned that helping others succeed is the only way one can truly succeed in network marketing.